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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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In the meantime., however, the sponsored e Lublin Committee ' was
fulfilling its administrative role in that part of Poland ' liberated 5 by the
Red Army. The intended complete annexation was still disguised under
the cloak of a ' friendly government.' It was more or less universally
understood by this time what the term meant;, but its interpretation by
the British Prime Minister is interesting to observe. An example of his
opinion on this subject can be found in his remark in 1938 on the Japanese
attempt to enforce a body of this type on China. Churchill had written
with stinging irony : <£ They are resolved to maintain the integrity and
independence of China. All they want is to have a Chinese Government
which will live with them on neighbourly terms,, and not leave undone
the things they like or do anything they do not like. Merely that ..."
Therefore., all parties concerned., Russian, Polish, and the British as
well, understood in full the significance of Moscow's demands,, and that
their aim was to insert the Polish Republic in its entirety within the orbit
of the Soviet Union. With the introduction of Arciszewski as the Prime
Minister on 29th November, 1944, Moscow was finally obliged to
recognise its inability to over-ride the Polish Government. At this time,
the Red Army was putting the finishing touches to its preparations for
the winter offensive, and the Kremlin used the opportunity to force
London to clarify its position regarding the Polish problem and, moreover,
to give a suitable guarantee concerning their intentions towards the future
of this country. The fate of the other States in the Middle Zone (par-
ticularly the Baltic States) had already been decided in Russia's favour;
the voices of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, submerged under the surging
Soviet waves, could no longer be heard—the Red Army and the N.K.V.D.
had effectively reduced them to silence.
In the middle of December, Churchill announced his intention of
making a new statement on Poland, and, without any apparent need, to
hold a debate. It was a move which aroused a general curiosity, contrary
as it was to the attitude of secrecy on the matter upheld heretofore. There
can only be surmises as to why Churchill took such a step—Russian
pressure, or an endeavour to acquaint the British people in some measure
of the action which the Government contemplated in the near future.
Thus, on 15th December Churchill said :—
" In opening this Debate, I find myself in a position to read to the House
again some extracts from the carefully considered statements that I made to
them in February, after I had returned from Teheran, and also in October
of the present year. I rely upon those statements, and when I read them
over again last night in preparation for this Debate, I found it very difficult
to improve upon them or alter them in any way. This may accuse me of
infertility of mind, but it also gives me some confidence that I have not
misled the House or felt myself stultified, in all respects at any rate, by the
harsh and unforeseeable movement of events. It is not often that one
wishes to repeat what one said two months ago, and still less ten months ago,
but I propose to do so, because in no other way and in no other words that